For someone who is already addicted to something, it can be quite difficult to break the cycle. Today we see more people dying from Opiod overdoses than any other form of accidental death. Cigarette smoking has been a leading cause of cancer for years. There are ways though to untangle even these very strong addictions. I, Dr. Starsiak, recently completed additional training to be able to prescribe buprenorphine. This is a medication that helps with stabalizing opiod/opiate addictions. Most people who try to quit opiods/opiates on their own return to usage within a year, >90% of people in fact. Buprenorphine is a medication that will stabalize the addiction. It does not create a high like the opioids that people typically abuse recreationally. Instead, it will prevent withdrawal symptoms and eliminate cravings for other opioids. This allows a person to get their life in order, to develop a support system, to go through counseling, basically to experience stability, so when they're ready they can be more successful at completely quitting opioids. In fact, buprenorphine itself is an opioid but the way it interacts with the opiate receptors is different than commonly abused opioids and opiates. It does not fully activate the receptors, so it doesn't create the same high. It does however prevent withdrawal and cravings so a person can go on living their life. Typically a patient needs to be sustained on buprenorphine for at least a year before attempting to taper it down. Studies show better success rates with long term abstinence with sustaned mantainence on buprenorphine compared to using buprenorphine to detox quickly from another opiate and then stopping the buprenorphine. Success rates of long-term abstinence go up the longer a patient is on this medication. A patient takes this medication at home and only needs to come into the office once a month to be reassessed, so it is quite convenient and will not interfere with daily life. The phase where we switch over from whatever the abused opiate or opioid are to buprenorphine is called induction. Induction can be done at home or in my office depending on a few medical variables along with the patient's preference. the risk of death from opiate / opioid overdose is quartered when someone is on buprenorphine. So, it really is a matter of life and death for many. If you are struggling with opioid or opiate addiction please give me a call. I will help.